Published On: Fri, Aug 4th, 2023

Supreme Court stays Rahul Gandhi’s convicition in ‘Modi’ surname defamation case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the conviction of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 defamation case over his Modi surname remark, restoring his status as an MP.

A person in public life is expected to exercise caution while making public speeches

It may be noted that Rahul Gandhi was sentenced to two years in jail for comments he made in 2019 that a court ruled were insulting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and those sharing his last name.

While the top court stayed the conviction of the Congress leader, it also gave a piece of advice saying a person in public life should refrain from making such distasteful comments. A three-judge bench of Justices BR Gavai, PS Narasimha and Sanjay Kumar said no doubt that the utterances were not in good taste and that a person in public life is expected to exercise caution while making public speeches.

“No reason has been given by the trial judge for imposing maximum sentence, the order of conviction needs to be stayed pending final adjudication,” the bench said. The top court was hearing a plea by Gandhi challenging the Gujarat High Court verdict which dismissed his plea seeking a stay on his conviction in a defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark.

Former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi had filed a criminal defamation case in 2019 against Gandhi over his “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?” remark made during an election rally in Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019.

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